Today I saw two posts on my Facebook newsfeed showing two brutal and graphic videos of police shootings. Not like a TV show about police shooting people. These were real life videos showing the police shooting people.
Let’s take a moment of silence and really let this sink in.
Now. A Google search for the 1983 David Cronenberg film Videodrome yields the following description:
As the president of a trashy TV channel, Max Renn (James Woods) is desperate for new programming to attract viewers. When he happens upon “Videodrome,” a TV show dedicated to gratuitous torture and punishment, Max sees a potential hit and broadcasts the show on his channel.
For those who are unfamiliar with the film (spoiler alert), the ‘videodrome signal’ turns out to be a live feed of ‘Snuff tv’ that, when watched, creates a tumour-like form which functions as a new organ within the brain of the viewer.
For those unfamiliar with the mechanics of radio and television broadcasting- incidentally, the basic function of these mediums are actually modeled after, you guessed it, the Brain. They receive and transmit information from light and sound frequencies. Our consciousness- and to take it a step further, our reality – is a broadcast featuring the information transmitted from whatever signals – sensory input, psychic influence; light and sound vibrations at various frequencies, essentially – we choose to ‘tune in’ to.
In the film, the protagonist Max tunes in to these signals of murder and rape and torture, and lo! He becomes what he thinks about. He becomes violent and starts killing people.
Before I go any further, I’ll add this disclaimer: Some might assert that I am expressing here a particular belief system. To which I will respond: You may choose to believe whatever you would like to believe, but as for what I have stated thus far and will state from here on- in the immortal words of Ron Burgandy- “It’s Science.”
With that out of the way, let’s buckle up here because things may get a bit bumpy.
First picture, if you will, a DVD.
It is a circular, plastic, shiny disc that, when held in the light, reflects the colour spectrum, and contains within it digital data. The definition from Wikipedia – “a digital optical storage format.. that can store any kind of digital data.”
Okay. And what are data again? – “the quantities, characters, or symbols on which operations are performed by a computer, being stored and transmitted in the form of electrical signals and recorded on magnetic, optical, or mechanical recording media”
Bare with me here this is going somewhere. What about Optics?
Although the lenses of the eye are not simple spherical lenses, they.. form a real, inverted image on the retina – the optically sensitive screen that is located at the back of the eye.
“The television screen has become the retina of the mind’s eye” is a quote from Videodrome which helps tie this all together.
Since the purpose of this piece of writing is not really about demonstrating the science and is more about illustrating its effect, I think I’ll stop there. but I mean.. optics, screen, lens, image.. you get the idea.
Our brain contains the antenna, and in our eyes are both the camera and the screen. And again, just like on TV, what we broadcast through our own eyes are images formed by the electrical signals tuned into by our brains. Period.
So what does all this mean, exactly?
It means we create our own reality. Or, stated another way, it means that what we see before our eyes is basically just a series of ‘television’ programs. “Life is a series of images that change as they repeat themselves.”
It means that what happens to Max when he tunes in to the videodrome signals is exactly what happens to us when we tune into images of violence and torture.
When I see those two posts on Facebook today, all I see is Snuff TV. Videodrome for real. When I chose to play one of the videos, I felt this incredible destructive force rush through me, almost like the death I was watching was echoing within me.
Not almost. It was. Maybe the next post will be about how death itself is the cumulative effect of our individual destructive emotions. And the one after that about how war and massacres and police brutality are the effect of our collective destructive thoughts and emotions. In that one we’ll talk about “emotional weather.”
Here, we’ll leave it at this: See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil.. and there will be no evil. Remember all that about how we create our own reality and how our brains are just like tv’s and we broadcast the images before our eyes which are formed from the signals we tune into.. Stop watching violence. Stop thinking about it. Stop talking about it. “Violence breeds violence, repression brings retaliation, and only a cleansing of our whole society, can remove this sickness from our soul.”
But it doesn’t matter, because, It’s just a ride!